Technology advances are now sweeping the real estate landscape. While the sector was typically a slow-mover to technological innovations, today, with digital revolution touching lives and influencing every aspect of decision-making, it is no surprise that the industry is catching up on lost time and adopting innovative tech at an accelerated pace.
The purchase of a luxury property, worth US$1.6 million dollars, with 2,739 bitcoins in 2014, is reported to have made the internet entrepreneurs the Winklevoss twins billionaires. While this is often cited as an exception, it also points to cryptocurrency being increasingly considered for real estate transactions.
In the Middle East, particularly in the UAE, cryptocurrency is yet to become part of real estate transactions given the regulatory environment. However, with the government having announced that half of the government transactions will be conducted on blockchain platforms as per the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021, it is only a matter of time that the trend catches on.
In fact, the decision by government entities such as Mubadala Investment Company investing in a digital cryptocurrency platform and reported plans by the country to finalise initial coin offering regulations, there is bound to be more traction in the practical application of cryptocurrency in the real estate sector.
Facebook’s move to launch its own cryptocurrency, Libra, will further make the concept more popular, given the extensive reach the social network has – although it would have to wade the waters of regulatory concerns already raised, including by the US Federal Reserve.
What does all this mean for the customer? For one, it is clear that the industry is digitally transforming, and while cash is still king in real estate, it is only a matter of time that cryptocurrency transactions will become more popular. It is important that customers keep themselves informed of these new trends.
With regulatory concerns being upper most when it comes to the use of cryptocurrency, customers need to evaluate the fine print and keep up-to-speed with any new regulations and policies in this regard.
While cryptocurrency offers several advantages such as clarity of ownership, smart contracts and digital transactions making property purchases more seamless, efficient and middle-men free, concerns about cybersecurity must be considered.
The progressive vision of the UAE leadership means such technology advances will be adopted with strong regulatory backing. This will no doubt add to customer confidence when cryptocurrencies become popular as tools of transaction.
This information has been provided by Cecilia Reinaldo CEO at Home Owners Direct HOD